With hockey being one of the signature team events at the recently completed Beijing Olympics, it’s time for bettors to turn their attention to the NHL.
Hockey is unchartered territory for a lot of gamblers, so here is a primer on how to bet NHL games, and a look at the potential Stanley Cup champion.
For more, from gambling-friendly schedules featuring live, updating odds to expert analysis and the day’s most-bet games, check out the NHL section on the FOX Sports App and FOXSports.com!
Hockey is unique among sports to bet on.
First, there really is an advantage to playing at home. The home team gets to make the last line change during stoppages in play to match up against the visitor’s skaters on the ice.
Of course, another unique thing about hockey is the players constantly change while the game is in progress. Players are on the ice for an average of 45 seconds at a time.
Most NHL games have a point spread — called the puck line — of 1.5 goals. This brings up another unique aspect to hockey — pulling the goalie.
If a team is trailing late in the third period and the situation is right, the coach will call the goalie off the ice in favor of an extra skater. The goal is unguarded as the trailing team tries to attack for the potential tying goal.
Many a bettor has either covered or lost with an empty-net goal late in the third period.
Generally, NHL games have a pregame over/under of 5.5 to 6.5 goals — total goals scored by both teams combined (the .5 assures there will be no ties). Some bettors like to ride a hot goalie — like a starting pitcher who is on a roll — to either keep the score under or win the game outright.
Some bettors prefer wagering on multi-game parlays instead of wagering on just one contest, said Jeff Stoneback, Director of Trading for BetMGM.
“Hockey is a lot like baseball. The recreational bettor likes to bet a lot of parlays in hockey,” Stoneback said. “Obviously, the public likes to bet the favorite, and they’ll lay a goal and a half instead of laying odds, so it’s pretty standard they will play a three-, four- or five-team parlay because they like to bet the favorites.”
For bettors just getting started wagering on NHL, here are some top players and teams to know (entering Monday’s games):
TOP FIVE PLAYERS IN TOTAL POINTS
Connor McDavid, Edmonton Oilers center, 71 points (26 goals, 45 assists)
Jonathan Huberdeau, Florida Panthers left wing, 70 points (17 goals, 53 assists)
Leon Draisaitl, Edmonton Oilers center, 70 points (35 goals, 35 assists)
Nazem Kadri, Colorado Avalanche center, 63 points (21 goals, 42 assists)
Johnny Gaudreau, Calgary Flames left wing, 63 points (20 goals, 43 assists)
TOP FIVE GOALIES WITH LOWEST GOALS-AGAINST AVERAGE-**
Igor Shesterkin, New York Rangers, 1.97 GAA (24-5-3 record)
Jacob Markstrom, Calgary Flames, 2.09 GAA (22-10-5)
Frederik Andersen, Carolina Hurricanes, 2.10 GAA (26-7-2)
Andrei Vasilevskiy, Tampa Bay Lightning, 2.27 GAA (26-8-4)
Tristan Jarry, Pittsburgh Penguins, 2.29 GAA (25-10-6)
** = played in at least half of teams games
TOP FIVE SCORING TEAMS
Florida Panthers, 4.12 goals per game (GPG)
Colorado Avalanche, 3.98 GPG
Minnesota Wild, 3.81 GPG
Toronto Maple Leafs, 3.58 GPG
St. Louis Blues, 3.53 GPG
TOP FIVE DEFENSIVE TEAMS
Calgary Flames, 2.35 goals allowed per game (GA/G)
Carolina Hurricanes, 2.41 GA/G
New York Rangers, 2.50 GA/G
Pittsburgh Penguins, 2.60 GA/G
New York Islanders, 2.71 GA/G
The prize for being the best team in the NHL is one of the most cherished trophies in pro sports, Lord Stanley’s Cup.
The Montreal Canadiens have the most Stanley Cup titles with 24 but their last one came in 1993. They also are the last franchise based in Canada to hoist the Cup. Twenty NHL teams have won the Stanley Cup.
Currently, the Avalanche are the betting favorites to win their third Stanley Cup. The Panthers are second on the list of betting favorites. If they won, this would be their first Cup.
The favorite team of an entire province, the Maple Leafs, come in third on the list of title contenders. The Original Six team is seeking their 14th Stanley Cup, but first, since 1967, the last time the storied franchise advanced to the championship round.
Here are the Stanley Cup futures odds for every team in the NHL.
ODDS TO WIN STANLEY CUP (via FOX Bet)*
Colorado Avalanche +450 (bet $10 to win $55)
Florida Panthers +650 (bet $10 to win $75)
Toronto Maple Leafs +700 (bet $10 to win $80)
Tampa Bay Lightning +750 (bet $10 to win $85)
Carolina Hurricanes +800 (bet $10 to win $90)
Vegas Golden Knights +850 (bet $10 to win $95)
Pittsburgh Penguins +1100 (bet $10 to win $120)
Calgary Flames +1300 (bet $10 to win $140)
Minnesota Wild +1400 (bet $10 to win $150)
New York Rangers +1600 (bet $10 to win $170)
Washington Capitals +2000 (bet $10 to win $210)
St. Louis Blues +2200 (bet $10 to win $230)
Edmonton Oilers +2200 (bet $10 to win $230)
Boston Bruins +2200 (bet $10 to win $230)
Nashville Predators +3000 (bet $10 to win $310)
Los Angeles Kings +4000 (bet $10 to win $410)
Dallas Stars +4000 (bet $10 to win $410)
Anaheim Ducks +6000 (bet $10 to win $610)
Winnipeg Jets +6000 (bet $10 to win $610)
New York Islanders +10000 (bet $10 to win $1,010)
Vancouver Canucks +15000 (bet $10 to win $1,510)
San Jose Sharks +15000 (bet $10 to win $1,510)
Detroit Red Wings +20000 (bet $10 to win $2,010)
Columbus Blue Jackets +25000 (bet $10 to win $2,510)
Seattle Kraken +25000 (bet $10 to win $2,510)
Chicago Blackhawks +30000 (bet $10 to win $3,010)
Philadelphia Flyers +30000 (bet $10 to win $3,010)
Montreal Canadiens +30000 (bet $10 to win $3,010)
New Jersey Devils +30000 (bet $10 to win $3,010)
Ottawa Senators +40000 (bet $10 to win $4,010)
Buffalo Sabres +40000 (bet $10 to win $4,010)
Arizona Coyotes +100000 (bet $10 to win $10,010)
*Odds as of 2/21/2022
If you are throwing a few bucks down on who will put the biscuit in the basket or who will hoist Lord Stanley’s Cup in late June, be sure to head over to FOX Bet to place your wagers.
Play FOX Super 6 every week for your chance to win thousands of dollars every week. Just download the Super 6 app and make your picks today!
Get more from National Hockey League Follow your favorites to get information about games, news and more.